For everybody who may have missed the Panorama documentary about the British Army undercover unit that shot unarmed Catholics on the streets of West Belfast
“I’d go back tomorrow and do it all again – absolutely”-member of the undercover British Army Unit
The North’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory has asked the PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott to investigate claims and admissions that a British army undercover unit operated a shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s.
The British state has failed to acknowledge the gulf between its own official aims and methods and the reality on the ground.The political, military, security and judicial Establishment has never admitted its own recourse to shoot-to-kill policies, collaboration with loyalist paramilitary groups to carry out assassinations of suspected republicans, disregard of the criminal careers of its informer network and politicisation of the legal system.
According to the official history, the conflict in Northern Ireland was about two warring tribes—the Catholics and Protestants, who had to be kept apart for their own sake by British soldiers.
But in reality the British occupation of Northern Ireland was brutal, repressive and murderous.
In 1972, the British Army took overall responsibility for security in Northern Ireland.
In a document prepared by Army General Staff in October 1971, under the heading,
Tougher Military Measures and Their Implications,
the following suggestion was included.
“More aggressive tactics against gunmen such as the formation of Q squads in special areas, to mystify, mislead and destroy the terrorists.
“The IRA has the initiative and is causing disruption out of all proportion to the relatively small numbers engaged.
“This is not to credit the IRA with any unusual skill; it is the normal pattern of urban guerrilla activity when the guerrillas are not opposed by a ruthless and authoritarian governmental machine.”